Canada now joins United States dispute settlement request under USMCA with Mexico

As reported in the previous CAAR Network newsletter, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the request on June 2 in response to “Mexican measures concerning agricultural biotechnology products.”

The U.S. requested a dispute settlement with Mexico under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) because a February Mexican decree calls for the ban of GMO corn in tortillas or dough and instructs the government to gradually phase out GMO corn in all products for human consumption and animal feed.  Dispute settlement rules are in Chapter 31 of the USMCA.

The decree also included banning the use of glyphosate in Mexico.

The phase-out measures would begin in 2024.

Canada is joining the consultations as a third party.

Under Section 31.4 of CUSMA, a third party that believes it has “substantial interest in the matter” may participate in the process.

“Canada will continue to work with Mexico and the U.S. towards an outcome that preserves trade predictability and market access for our farmers and exporters,” says a joint statement from Trade Minister Mary Ng and Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

According to the U.S., Mexico’s move is “inconsistent with several of (Mexico’s) obligations in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Market Access chapters of the USMCA.”

Mexico is the second-largest market for U.S. corn, importing nearly $5 billion of it in 2022. This includes about 17 million metric tons of GMO yellow corn for animal feed. Canada also exports corn to Mexico.




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